Hurry up, Mumbai foodies, Chef Hari Nayak is here!

A bowl of butter garlic crab redolent of beach holidays on the Konkan coast is placed in front of me. Then comes a piquant hot rasam infused with lobster, poured over the crab to give me a double whammy of delicious crustacean. The depth of flavour from a traditional coastal meal isn’t usually accompanied by such modern presentation.

Chef Hari Nayak

But that’s the essence of Chef Hari Nayak‘s brilliance. To make you yearn for Karwar when you’re in New York’s theatre district. To showcase Indian cuisine (with a bit of an emphasis on South Indian) but present it in a way that is accessible to Western sensibilities and intriguing to Indian ones. The Udipi-born, Manipal-educated chef who has wowed diners in the USA and Kuwait and authored six books on Indian cuisine to boot, is in Mumbai to participate in the Four Season’s first ever Annual Gourmet Festival (on until March 26 at various venues of the hotel on Dr E Moses Road, Worli). 

The 10-day long celebration of food and beverage has a line-up of some really illustrious chefs and mixologists from across the globe, whose creativity you can sample too IF you book here before they sell out. Word is that the meals by Dharshan Munidasa (Ministry of Crab, Sri Lanka) and Timothy Butler  (Eat Me, Bangkok) are already almost full up.

Going by my dinner at the hotel’s very exclusive The Club on the 33rd floor last night, paired with some superb wines curated by Fratelli, this one is going to delight city gourmets. Each of the 11 courses had excellent options for vegetarians as well (though I’m sharing my largely non-veg journey here). I also skipped the gorgeous looking desserts (sweet corn kulfi with salted caramel and a motichoor macaron with paan truffle!) so you’ll have to go get impressed by them in person. This memorable meal was priced at Rs 6600 ++ and beverages extra.

Tapping in to tapioca: Cassava chaat in a zesty roasted coriander dip and very decorative and tasty tomato crisp

Who would’ve thought? This Chilli Garlic Scallop flourishes in the Creole Barbecue Makhani that’s reminiscent of a good chatnipodi doused in ghee!

Mushrooming it up: This Bharwan (stuffed) Guchhi on a bed of Truffle Cream

Fishing for compliments: Delicious Sea Bass Recheado

Batty about Bater: A rich Quail Xacuti with Idiappam

Simply yum: Swiss Chard Roti with Purple Potato Bhaji

Goan gourmet: Lamb Vindaloo with Compressed Pineapple

Palate cleanser: Mandarin Pepper Mojito

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